CMOA announces new commissions from Antoine Catala and Shannon Ebner

Antoine Catala: Distant Feel
Exhibition in Carnegie Museum of Art’s Forum Gallery
February 14–May 18, 2015

Shannon Ebner: Auto Body Collision
Artist book published by Carnegie Museum of Art
Available May 2015

Both commissioned projects are part of Orphaned Images, an investigation within the Hillman Photography Initiative that addresses questions raised within art practice by the increasingly widespread digital dissemination of photographs. As images are shared, manipulated, recirculated, and reused, they lose authorship, and become itinerant. Attentive to the shifting role of the photographic image in society, Orphaned Images explores the intersections and collisions of humans and technology in the contemporary world.

Antoine Catala; Distant Feel, 2015; Courtesy of the Artist

Antoine Catala; Distant Feel, 2015; Courtesy of the Artist

Antoine Catala: Distant Feel is the first solo US museum exhibition of the New York–based French artist. It presents a new body of work in sculpture, photography, and video that addresses the way that images provoke emotion, especially as they travel virtual and physical distances via the internet. Catala’s work takes an interest in the myriad ways we express feelings, through the very technology that increasingly mediates our daily lives. Catala is developing a new approach to the sentiment of empathy, conceived in collaboration with the New York advertising agency Droga5. This new form of empathy is embodied in both a symbol and the catch phrase “distant feel,” both of which will be employed in the exhibition and online. Catala shares the campaign, with more information, at This project is a co-commission with the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, and will be presented on the occasion of their 2015 Triennial (February 25–May 24, 2015).

Shannon Ebner; Traffic Control Device, 2014; Archival Pigment Print; Courtesy of the Artist

Shannon Ebner; Traffic Control Device, 2014; Archival Pigment Print; Courtesy of the Artist

Shannon Ebner’s publication Auto Body Collision continues the artist’s ongoing investigation into the dialogue between word and image in a new series of over 200 photographs that comprise a long-form poem. In this new series Ebner employs the automobile and automation as metaphor, meditating on the “collision” between bodies and machines. The book serves as a natural medium for Ebner’s preoccupation with language, wordplay, and the contemporary economy of images. Auto Body Collision includes essays by curators Alex Klein, Tina Kukielski, and designer Mark Owens.

Orphaned Images is organized by Tina Kukielski, curator of the Hillman Photography Initiative and co-curator of the 2013 Carnegie International at Carnegie Museum of Art, and Alex Klein, the Dorothy and Stephen R. Weber (CHE’60) Program Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania.

The Hillman Photography Initiative at Carnegie Museum of Art is an incubator for innovative thinking on the photographic image. The Initiative’s inaugural cycle of projects investigates the lifecycle of images: their creation, transmission, consumption, storage, potential loss, and reemergence. Technology accelerates the pace of this cycle, and often alters or redirects the trajectory of an image in unexpected, powerful ways.

Other recent projects of the Initiative include The Invisible Photograph, This Picture, The Sandbox: At Play with the Photobook, and A People’s History of Pittsburgh.

The Invisible Photograph, a five-part documentary series, investigates hidden sites of photography, whether guarded, stashed away, barely recognizable, or simply forgotten. It has, among other things, visited a massive photo archive, preserved 200 feet underground in a former limestone mine; witnessed the recovery of obsolete images created by Andy Warhol on an Amiga computer; and interviewed an artist whose primary medium is photographic garbage.

This Picture explores the breadth of what photographic images can say and do by tracking the responses and feedback a single image triggers and generates. Each month, the museum invites the public to submit responses to a carefully selected photograph, including works by Arne Svensen, Ken Josephson, and Charles Dharapak, with additional commentary by Pete Brook, Nancy West, Marco Bohr, and Marcel LaFollette.

The Sandbox: At Play with the Photobook invited artists-in-residence Melissa Catanese and Ed Panar to transform the museum’s Coatroom Gallery into a playful hybrid space dedicated to the photobook: part reading room, part bookshop, part library, part event space. Visitors encountered a rotating selection of photobooks and intimate events emphasizing contemporary trends that give the medium its character.

Catanese and Panar also lead the yearlong A People’s History of Pittsburgh project, compiling hundreds of family-owned, found, and anonymous photographs and stories from the city’s residents to create an online archive that unearths and reconstructs narratives through the lives of Pittsburghers. Catanese and Panar will conclude the project by editing and co-publishing a print photobook with CMOA.

Encounter these projects at


Distant Feel is co-commissioned by the Hillman Photography Initiative, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. Support for the Hillman Photography Initiative is provided by the William T. Hillman Foundation and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation. Major support is provided by Lisa Schiff. Production support is provided by Droga5.

General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Carnegie Museum of Art
Located at 4400 Forbes Avenue in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, it is nationally and internationally recognized for its distinguished collection of American and European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 19th century to the present. Founded in 1896, the Carnegie International is one of the oldest surveys of contemporary art worldwide. The Heinz Architectural Center, part of Carnegie Museum of Art, is dedicated to enhancing understand of the built environment through its exhibitions, collections, and public programs. The Hillman Photography Initiative serves as an incubator for innovative thinking about the photographic image. For more information about Carnegie Museum of Art, call 412.622.3131 or visit our website at

# # #